Around the third quarter of 2015, I was scouring the Internet in search of self-help information and came across an article on Quora authored by a Filipino life coach. He seemed to be able to answer every question that was thrown his way from visitors with useful, relevant, and remarkable knowledge and since I am a knowledge geek, I was absolutely geeked!!! (Translation: I was over-the-top happy(lol)).
Well, I decided to reach out and contact the life coach via the email address he provided and to my amazement, he responded shortly thereafter. We began conversing via telephone with him providing me with courtesy life coaching sessions from the Philippines on a regular basis. He taught me about perspective, looking at situations in various ways, and adopting a limitless view on life and success.
On January 16, 2016, after getting a heads up from him, I attended a two-day private mentor conference in Manhattan, New York headlined by a knowledge guru and mastermind. It was truly a life-changing event and turning point in my life.
I have pretty much had a thirst for knowledge ever since I can remember and aspired to achieve a better life despite my successes and learning experiences.My dearly departed mom, who passed away on March 31, 2018, gave birth to me when she was 14 years old. I was raised by my maternal grandmother and briefly by my maternal great grandmother after my maternal grandma passed away and after the death of my maternal grandfather. My paternal grandmother and grandfather died in a tragic car accident about six years prior to my birth and my father spent about 10 or more years in prison when I was younger.
I am a divorced mom of two adult children who graduated from high school. I earned my AS in Communications and Media Arts With Distinction and earned my BA degree in communications with a minor in psychology (cum laude).
I have completed volunteer work, college internships, worked as a receptionist, and sales assistant, performed live broadcast remotes, wrote on-air radio scripts, facilitated a celebrity meet and greet, and completed other tasks at a black and independently-owned and operated hometown radio station (that experience was one of the most memorable and fun jobs I've ever had). I was also a college intern at a local TV and cable company, a bank employee who cashed checks for major corporations, and a taxi driver who worked 12-hour shifts (including overnights). I have worked as a social work Examiner who assisted clients in applying for and receiving public assistance, food stamps, and medical assistance, and as an After-Hours Volunteer who placed homeless persons in shelters.
Other work experience that I gained was as relief staff at a homeless shelter for women and children in transition, Assistant Girl Scout troop leader, a banquet server, costume waver, a receptionist for a security company,and I worked at Burger King and McDonald's as a fast food employee over 30 years ago. Life has thrown a lot of curve balls my way, so I have learned to become resilient, resourceful, adaptable, and self-motivated through it all.
During the private mentor conference that I attended in January 2016 in Manhattan, New York, I attended the VIP pre-sessions, main sessions, VIP Cocktail Party, and Diamond Dinner. At the conclusion of the conference, there was an Invite Only dinner exclusively for folks who passed an application process to become potential accredited investors. An accredited investor in a nutshell is a person or business entity who has a high net worth and is allowed some financial perks.
As the private mentor conference was adjourned, the group of approved accredited investors was hailed over to a side exit to attend a meeting that was going to be conducted by the conference guru and mastermind. I purchased a Diamond level pass prior to the start of the conference, which was the highest pass level and allowed me to attend all sessions except the Invite Only dinner.
However, guess who (with a leap of faith) began walking and kept walking upstairs along with the group of potential accredited investors and into the Invite Only dinner? Okay, I guess that you can say that I "sneaked" into that dinner because after I completed the Accredited Investor application that requested income information, I wouldn't have blamed them if the person(s) who reviewed it laughed all the way to the circular file and did a reverse slam dunk with it! (lol).
The Invite Only dinner lasted over five hours and we had already gone from about 9:00 AM that morning starting with the VIP pre-sessions. It was well after 1:00 AM when the meeting ended. I stayed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during the meeting because I didn't want to miss anything. The knowledge guru and mastermind were like a (knowledge) machine. He spoke for what seemed like forever and some attendants were even nodding off and falling asleep. I was tired and sleepy, but I wasn't going to miss a word of knowledge coming from him. I left that Private Mentor Conference armed with a notebook full of new knowledge and returned home with a greater outlook, blueprint, and plan for success.
Around two months after attending that conference, I convinced a friend to let me borrow $8,000 to buy a duplex rental property through a tax foreclosure auction. I obtained my certification from a local housing council for operating rental property and having tenants, obtained my certification through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Lead Renovator, became a certified firm, hired some independent painting, repair, and roof contractors, and helped to fix up my rental property. Below are Before and After pics of my first real estate property.
In March 2018, I was able to "flip" (sell) my real estate property investment for $45K. I used some of the money to pay off some debt out of the sale proceeds, pay some bills, improve my personal credit, help some family members, and start this business. My net profit ended up being a little over $35K.
So, this story is meant to inspire you to not only have faith but take strategic and calculated actions toward your life goals - not necessarily to encourage you to sneak into Invite Only dinners with multi-millionaires (lol). This story is to show you how having faith and putting in the hard work can move mountains!
Now, there will be times when you're faced with what seems like an insurmountable mountain that won't budge no matter what. Whether you decide to climb over the mountain, go around it, dig a tunnel under and to the other side, or figuratively blast through it, I encourage you to become creative and innovative. As much as life has thrown at me (and may possibly continue to do so), I continue to work on finding ways to persevere. If you are open to start doing things like setting goals, brainstorming a plan of action, acquiring knowledge, seeking (expert or experienced) help, taking strategic and calculated risks and action, not stopping (no matter how long it takes) until you achieve effective results, and combine faith and works, then you can make desired changes in your life.
It was by faith that I sought out self-help that led me to my former life coach. It was by works that I attended that private mentor conference in Manhattan, New York. It was my faith that gave me the confidence to keep walking alongside multi-millionaires into that Accredited Investors Invite Only dinner. It was by works that I returned home and put my acquired knowledge and a plan into action. My faith allowed me to believe in myself to convince someone to loan me $8K to buy my first real estate property and my works allowed me to obtain certifications to operate it as a former landlord, fix it up, and sell it.
My faith continues in going out on a limb to start this business not knowing what the result will be and my works allowed me to put in countless hours of time, research, hard work, and loss of sleep to get this business launched. Regardless of the outcome, I can say it is truly worth it in honor of my dearly departed mother, for you, and to help others.
Looking back, if I could have done some things differently, especially from when I was younger, I would have saved more money from the jobs I had and income tax refund checks I received from employment and invested heavily into real estate property and self-employment a lot sooner. Nevertheless, my life has been and continues to be one heck of a journey. Thank you for being a part of our Cell Block Legendz journey. Here is a picture of the check that I received from my attorney for the remaining proceeds of the sale of my former real estate property: